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August 07, 2007

Exxxxtreme Winter! (By Which We Mean "A Very Mild Winter," Which Used To Mean "A Good Winter")

Extreme temperatures! Global chaos! Oddly depressed oil sales due to fairly moderate temperatures!

The warmest January-June period in history! (Well, since we began keeping (spotty, selective) records in the mid 1850's, and really more like since we began keeping full-globe records somewhere in the twentieth century. And only the warmest according to one measure.)

Of course, they tend to hype the hits -- the various combinations of sea, land, or sea/land temperatures that get them their precious "warmest on record!' claims, while of course rather downplaying the misses:

June 2007 was the 23rd warmest June on record, 1.4 F (0.8 C) above the 20th century average of 69.3 F. The warmer-than-average June temperature helped increase residential energy needs for the nation.

The 23rd warmest? But what's all this business about ever-increasing, ever-accelerating global warming?

Oh, right... you can't just look at a one-month record and extrapolate meaningfully from that.

To extrapolate meaningfully and make dire predictions about the apocalyptic changes to the earth's fragile ecosystem, you need a full half-year.

My bad.

I was doing research on this other day after having realized, "Man, it was a pretty warm winter, and a fairly cool summer, wasn't it?" Turns out that the winter was quite warm, and the spring/summer months have been warm-ish, but the biggest contribution to the "Warmest in history!" record seems to have come from the winter months, January and February in particular.

So, you know, really, we're talking a couple of months of EXXXXXXXTREME WEATHER! (Which of course you can worry about, because it's two months, but take no comfort in this rather underachieving past June, because that's just one month and statistically meaningless.)

Warm winters used to be called "mild."

From "mild" to "extreme" in just twenty years. Heckuva job, IPCC.


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posted by Ace at 02:36 PM

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